Will all stores eventually move online? Or will the first-mover advantage of offline stores mean that they forever remain an important and significant part of the way people shop? Indian ecommerce site Snapdeal’s latest launch, Janus, shows that it may just be a hybrid of the two.
Janus is an omni-channel platform that integrates all aspects of ecommerce – from ordering a product online to customising it and getting it delivered offline. This announcement comes after its earlier acquisition of ecommerce management software, Unicommerce and is named after Janus, the Greek god of transitions, beginnings, and all sorts of gateways. The launch will ideally lead to faster delivery rates and open up possibilities to a variety of cool new offline services, including product try-ons and customisation. Janus will be available across 70 cities in India.
The ubiquitous acronym O2O, or online-to-offline, means that you can look at a pair of shoes online, walk into a partner store to have them fitted, go back home with the size in mind, and have them delivered to a local outlet. While it can signify anything from food delivery to taxi hailing, it presents a significant opportunity for ecommerce sites.
The stores that have gone live with the Snapdeal launch include mobile vendor The Mobile Store, and fashion products that work with Indian retail chain Shoppers Stop. It means that a customer can order a phone online and choose to pick it up in-store. Furthermore, agents from The Mobile Store will be able to provide in-home services like SIM resizing, data transfer, and screen guard installation.
This is an excerpt from Tech in Asia. You can read the full article here.